“To See Thee More Clearly, Love Thee More Dearly…Day By Day”
A thought: our birthdays are opportunities to reflect on the gift of life and how we have grown over the years; the aging process may be very evident, or we may be blessed with a youthful spirit that defies aging. Our vision, hearing, muscle tone, energy levels…life changes! And we are invited to be grateful as we move forward, finding new meaning each and every day.
St. Paul in today’s reading from his letter to the Corinthians helps us to make sense of our faith as it impacts every dimension of life: “…we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God…” His Corinthian listeners were a tough, no-nonsense group; he wrote to encourage their growth in knowledge and discipleship focused on Jesus Crucified. The Corinthian world then was very similar to life today: self-centered, given to carelessness and laziness, so secular that the sacred is brushed aside. Paul encouraged them (and us) to “put on the mind of Christ”.
The Gospel selection recounts Jesus teaching on the Sabbath and healing a man with an “unclean demon” — to the amazement of those with Him in the synagogue who witnessed the miraculous healing. They noted the “…authority and power He commands…” and spoke freely of Jesus to their neighbors. Jesus helped the man regain God’s loving presence in his life, and opened the eyes and touched the hearts of all those who witnessed the miracle.
We are invited to see God’s love at work in our lives each day. No doubt we live in challenging times — with serious and disheartening stories of violence, corruption, abuse, mismanagement, etc. in all dimensions of life. Both Jesus and His faithful missionary St. Paul encourage us to dig deep in our faith, and rediscover God’s love miraculously at work in ourselves and our world — and then to faithfully witness God’s presence as we live our vocations. Both a challenge – and an opportunity.
God is faithful and active! God wants to remove us from our “unclean demons”! May we see God more clearly and love God more dearly…day by day.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.